Sunday, October 21, 2012

this is for You, part two.

This blog is going to be the end of me. Sincere feelings, what can I say? Before you begin, know that this is one blog that I have worked on night after night; it has brought me to my knees-- and then to my face before God asking Him for something. Anything. I'm afraid of two things: The first being what Ann Voskamp describes like this, ''when you write, you are before a holy God, describing the things of the LORD-- that is what scares me." The second tying perfectly with the first, I don't want to cheapen a thing or make a mistake.  Continuing on with much prayer, a heavy burden, and heavy eyes...

After playing with the Pastor's youngest offspring for several minutes + waving at the good-bye window, I walked over to the table, grab the Greek NT where it had been placed, make my way to the ever-so-comfortable couches, and open the pages for the second time.

Grant had told me the story of this New Testament. His Pastor gave it to him when he began learning Greek in 2001, and for some reason that I'm not sure of, he passed it onto me. :)

Grant and Suzanne; not my photo.


As Makenna was quietly playing across the room, I curled into their loveseat opening the NT. Then, I saw something at the beginning. Aw, he left the note from his pastor in there, I thought. I read it... feeling as if I was intruding on a sweet conversation. As I was reading it, though, I see more ink. What is that? I turn the page. The first lines having the date: "October 14, 2012... Then: Emilee, ..." in Grant's handwriting. Aw, I'm part of the story. This is what brought the tears to surface.

We read about Jesus' encounters with the crowds, His family, His Father, and His disciples... peering, sometimes it seems to be intruding, on their divine conversations. We close the pages and through the Holy Spirit He whispers, ''Beloved, you are part of the story.''

I continued on to read the encouragment, wondering-- Where are they seeing the thought behind the acknowledgment? Love for Jesus? How is that being displayed in me? I say that in complete honesty of thoughts. What about all those times when I had to look across the table at Grant in that church parlor and say, ''I have no idea.''? Appreciation? I couldn't grasp it.  Why would he pass it on to me? For crying out loud, why would he commit to a Greek class every Thursday just because? It didn't start with me, but I am the only one lingering still due to other's changing seasons. I didn't know how much the Greek language would bless me when I sat in on my first class in January. This class has given friendships that otherwise wouldn't have been and insights that wouldn't have been, either. I dare to say that if Greek was one of the 5 love languages, my #1 would be Greek, despite all the things yet unknown. :)
I thanked God for Grant... for his willingness, this unexpected gift, his time, his friendship...
Like Mrs. Khristi he has already taught me more than Machen {the professor who wrote 'my' beginners Greek curriculum} ever will. When he comes up with dating illustrations in comparing Greek verb tenses... when he ministers; speaks to our congregation... leads his family.
The watery eyes and lump in my throat continued. Why, God? These spiritual gifts that make me squirm in my seat, these friends that challenge me like no other + care for me unmistakably, these blogs that make me cringe at possibly forgetting or failing... peace that transcends ALL understanding when my Grandpa has cancer?  

Grant and I did discuss Grandpa at the beginning of our conversation-- him being one of the first to ask how we were-- but not a word was written about it in that note on the second page of that NT. In God's unquestionable timing, though, it was exactly what I needed.
Nothing is wasted. God can use a book on one topic and convict a person of something
entirely off the subject. Last summer at camp an unexpected speaker came that I later got to know-- he taught on one thing, which I incredibly gained from, but what rocked my world, literally, was his sincerity and awe when he talked of his Father.  When he talked of how God has literally saved him in his moment of need. It has absolutely altered my view on worship and worship wasn't in any of the bullet points. That short note hit me in two main ways this week-- as I have described. Next month and/or next year it might very possibly hit me fresh in the face in a different aspect. Don't you love His ways?

After Makenna was put into bed, Suz got home, a few games with the family, and night of personal Bible study later... I was headed to the Clay's, again, to watch Lukers.

Suzanne came to pick me up and as we walked into the house Luke ran up to me, squeezed my legs, and said, ''Emilee is here! It's time to come over!" in his 2 year old expressions. Oh, and that laugh. It kills me everytime. 

Well, only when a time out is not in his near future. :) There is nothing like a kid running up to you with a smile. From the shores of Lake Victoria to the middle of a kitchen in Kansas-- it never gets old.

Soon after the little man went to sleep I gave myself permission once again in Grant and Suzanne's living to just sob. Not the pretty tears. The ugly ones. For everything that is going on...
Friends being too busy, Grandpa being sick, life in general; all of it frailties.

God's ways are mysterious... Would we have it any other way? The very thing that made my blood broil that day led me to significant time among the pages of His Scriptures. The topics that
I am most passionate about were aroused and I couldn't get enough of His Word. I will not blog about that topic anytime soon; alot of research is going to be involved. I am going to write a 12 page paper or book about it-- whichever comes first... 12 months or 12 years from now.

Miss Tori came home reaching a quarter after 3, tired from her day at preschool. She presents her artwork, new discoveries, and special reward that she got that day to me without wanting me to know that she wanted me to know. {Did you follow that? :)} I kneel beside where she was laying taking a break from my own school work as she tells me about her day and we talk about the art of listening. We discuss the fact that we will be students for the rest of our days. That even Daddy's, Grandma's, and Miss Emilee's are still learning, and not near what we shall be. You see, Princess Tori got a special reward for
listening... and someday she will be a good listener to His voice, we pray, and she won't get a piece of paper. She will simply have to listen + trust as He pours out His love. Hopefully praying once again, she will know that is more than enough for her. We are students for the rest of our days... and the prayer request that is most frequently mentioned when I visit my friends in the nursing home are these: (1) Wisdom + (2) that they would be a better guy or gal.

Their next babysitter came. It was time to leave. Minutes before I left their driveway Lukers grabs, while crumbling on the way, leaves saying, ''These are for M-i-wee." I found one the least crumpled. Left the other 20 or so, and kept the one.

Was it really the leaf that made me smile the biggest? No. It was the little boy grinning his unique grin at me telling me that this was mine. It was a crumpled mess, because by the time he walked across the yard to me it had gotten destroyed in his hands. Did I enjoy the moment any less?

We pick up bundles of leaves, destroying them along the way... When we finally get to His feet it seems like nothing but a mess. Somehow, God chooses the aspect He wants to shape and use. Then, He tells us what we need to throw away.

Do any of these things directly speak to me about cancer? Absolutely not.
Does God use them to encourage my heart? Absolutely.
Does it only effect my life in that area? That's a negative.
God is using messages, hugs, and crazy deep laughs in Dillard's hallways.

On October 18th, it was a familiar face. We were in line at Subway to eat with fam, including Grandpa, when a boot kicks me in the leg. {No one was physically hurt in the writing of this blog. ;)} I wish I could have seen my face before I knew who it was. It was this guy:

                  When you catch this guy talking a 100 miles a minute, YOU WOULD TAKE A PICTURE, TOO. Period.

His name is Nathaniel.

As you can probably gather, he was on our Uganda Team in November of 2011. And, if you look closely, he is in the background of my Blogger profile picture. So, needless to say, this guy has seen my dreams come true and the ugly tears on me. To say that he is quiet would not even justify his silent personality. When the rest of the team was spinning under more than one occasion due to countless needs for flexibility I stood next to Nathaniel...  whether I needed a wordless conversation {we are a living testimony of it} or needed to ramble about who knows what I stood next to Nathaniel. He sat next to me while I sipped my first in-store experience @ Starbucks in a lil' place called Holland. With all that said, we have experienced alot of life experiences together and I am going to grace you with this small list.

I seriously don't know if I ever said the word, ''Hi.'' with such relief. Not because I was scared of who it was, but because it was sincerely so good to see him. With much teasing involved first, he heard the news about Grandpa. We continue on in conversation. Without a word of good-bye, that was by no surprise, he scurried out the door minutes later. There was that moment again mentioned in ''we win in the end.'' Not one that had utter significance, but one of significance to me nevertheless.

That night after Bible study I send him a text telling him how good it was to see him earlier.
He said that he was sorry about my Grandpa and I said that I was, too. We talk about prayer; our pressing, daily need for it. Then, thankfully, the small town mechanic is making me listen even harder to His voice. :) Instead of insisting on me his answer in my interrogative text asking what to lift up on his behalf, he replied, ''Whatever He lays on your heart is fine with me.'' Whoa. Whoa.

Along the Nile river taken with the team's bus driver: a sweet guy, coffee + God-lover, and one with a beautiful sense of humor. :)

I repeat, What else to do but bow my head before the Father and say "THANK-YOU!"?
I shall listen hard and say thank-You.

When I receive a note from a friend-- a friend that became a companion against all odds.
When sweet eight year old young ladies giggle in our hallways.
When I realized just how much I missed chat time with my girlfriends.
When God is staggering in His ways, masterpieces, and children.

When life is spinning fast + furious when you don't want it to... What is there to do?

God, we come and sit at Your feet. Come let us adore You. May You speak big and in the most astounding of ways. Overwhelm us of Your goodness. May we be quick to listen... which leads into being slow to speak and slow to anger. Lord, implant a servant heart in us open to being a student for the rest of our days. God, you have set these people in my path and I don't know what I would do without them. That we would give without remembering and take without forgetting, LORD. Jesus, I don't know what you are going to do with these grumblings or these circumstances, but I am believing You. I am stooping down, looking intently into Your Word and the challenge of unceasing prayer. Lord, and changing a request into a different context: May I be willing to say, ''Whatever you want to do, God, is fine with me.'' It's all for You. The way You use this blog, every equation of my least favorite subject and in my favorite, the way you use my day to day life, every encounter, every written word, every trial + hardship, EVERYTHING-- I cup it in my small hands and I carefully lay it in Yours. Making sure to not drop a thing, but to present it sincerely to You. To watch You accept my messes with joy. I am listening to You sing over me in the midst of so many other voices.  This is for You, Jesus. You alone.  

I got treasure up in heaven; I got dirt all over me,
Emilee :)



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